Drawn to their inimitable aesthetic grounded in chic simplicity, and a beautiful balance of timelessness and innovative design – Sarah & Sebastian have long been a favorite for fashion and fine jewelry, and more recently for bridal, with the launch of their WHITE collection.
Now, the brand is offering couples the freedom to tailor-design an exclusive piece, blending your own personal style with the chic aesthetic and expertise of the Sarah & Sebastian design team through their Co-Creation service.
Replicating the in-store experience, this revolutionary online design feature allows customers to select from their carefully curated assortment of ethically sourced diamonds and bands and instantaneously preview their designed piece from a variety of angles, in the complete privacy and comfort of their own home.
For those who desire to tangibly experience a Sarah & Sebastian creation, the brand also offers a Try at Home Kit, a beautifully designed box delivered to your door that contains each band, setting and stone available in the Co-Creation range in imitation materials, allowing customers the flexibility to experiment with design options and feel confident in the piece they’ve designed.
For traditionalists romanced by the bespoke design process, Sarah & Sebastian have just launched their second store in Mosman, Sydney. A chic space echoing the linear aesthetic of a museum, with delicately displayed collections, art installations and modern finishes of glass and concrete accents, and walnut hues. Sip champagne or whisky, book a consultation with the design team in their private lounge space, a unique edition to the their boutiques.
Upon the opening of the new store, we took the chance to chat with Creative Director and Founder Sarah Gittoes about the new Co-Creation experience, their ethically sourced diamonds & design inspiration, and the evolution of the new Mosman space…
Finding the perfect engagement or wedding ring can be daunting and overwhelming at best, where do you recommend to start?
At SARAH & SEBASTIAN we take a pragmatic and transparent approach when it comes to engagement and wedding rings. We understand that the process can be over-romanced and under-informed, with an abundance of choice on the market and limited or misleading information.
For us the starting point is always the diamond. We have a trained team of jewellers, diamond graders and gemologists who are passionate about choosing beautiful, GIA certified stones which are ethically sourced. We’re also realistic. Our friends, family and team members are getting engaged and we know that budget is crucial for starting the process. We’re firm believers in quality over quantity however, and will never compromise on the stones we choose.
We introduced the Co-Creation Ring Builder to simplify the engagement ring process. A space where you can build your dream ring online with an instant quote and leave the stone quality to our experts who hand-select diamonds to meet strict parameters of colour, cut and clarity.
Having that tangible, personal experience is so imperative to selecting the right engagement ring, how do you bridge that gap between the product and your online customers?
We offer a personal and in-depth engagement service at our stores and when we decided to replicate this online it was paramount that we could offer the same experience to clients who couldn’t visit our Sydney stores.
When it comes to something as personal and sentimental as an engagement ring we feel that there must be an element of human contact involved. Hardly any of our engagement rings are sold online without an email or phone call being made. Although shopping online, clients want to be involved in the process and there needs to be a type of ceremony around this. We have a knowledgeable customer service team who liaises closely with our designers and jewellers and have created tangible resources such as our Try-At-Home Kit which mirrors our in-store service.
Do you offer the Co-Creation service in-store?
In store is where Co-Creation began for us. When we launched our engagement range WHITE we created these beautiful kits which housed samples of all the different band and diamond variations so we could offer a tactile experience as part of our consultations. Usually a client in-store will require up to three consultations; the first to decide on design, the second to view their diamond and a visual ‘mock-up’ of their design, and then lastly to collect the finished ring. A SARAH & SEBASTIAN engagement specialist hosts the consultations, they are not only well versed in design but also trained to be able to educate the client about our diamonds and the stone that they have chosen.
What is the process of designing a Co-Creation piece, and how much time is required?
The process is truly unique to each client and depends on the style of ring that they desire. If they’re after a classic solitaire the process is quite streamlined and if a bespoke design is requested the design process becomes more involved. We have an extensive and thorough approach to choosing our diamonds which means the process usually takes up to six weeks to handcraft an engagement ring.
What variety of cuts, diamonds, settings and bands are incorporated into the Co-Creation range, and what are the price points?
I think when we were working on the ring builder we had to upload over three thousand variations! As part of Co-Creation we currently offer five different diamond cuts in white or champagne and in a range of carat weights. Our ring bands are offered a variety of profiles in yellow, white or rose gold and with either a bezel or claw setting, so even for a classic ring, the possibilities are somewhat endless. With a lot of options, it also means that there is something suitable for a range of personal budgets. Our Co-Creation rings start from AUD $5,000.
There’s so much to choose from! Do you have any favourite or recommended pairings?
Every ring is just as beautiful as the last and it becomes difficult to decide on a favourite design, especially for the SARAH & SEBASTIAN team. It’s hard to keep track if any partners secretly come to us asking for advice! We’ve found round brilliant stones to be a favourite amongst our clients and fancy shoulder stones, which is currently a bespoke offering, are becoming increasingly popular. Personally, my dream ring would feature an emerald cut diamond on a round yellow gold band.
What can customers expect to experience in the new Mosman store?
Opening a store in Mosman is an exciting step for us, especially for our engagement range. We opened our Paddington flagship a couple of years ago and 6 months later introduced WHITE. We realised quite quickly that our subsequent store would need to have a space where WHITE appointments could be hosted in a relaxed and intimate setting. A dedicated area where clients could focus on the important decision at hand and enjoy a whisky or champagne.
What additional services do you offer in the boutique?
Our Mosman store acts as an interactive showroom, where customers can view the whole collection and order pieces which are hand-crafted in our workshop. Alongside our WHITE consultations, we’re officially opening the store with a SOLDERED bracelet event and will be looking to offer these popular permanent bracelets on Sundays in the store from October onwards.
Where are Sarah & Sebastian diamonds sourced from?
Every diamond we use for our engagement rings is GIA certified and hand selected by our team from ethical and trusted suppliers. Choosing high quality and clarity stones from ethical suppliers is paramount to our process and is a key feature of our engagement rings. Our champagne diamonds are sourced from the Argyle Mine in Australia which is due to close next year. We think this will make these beauties sought after in the future for their rarity just as they are now for their unique colour.
What advice do you have for men and women designing their wedding or engagement rings?
Value longevity in addition to being true to yours or your partner’s style. Think about yourself or your partner now, then imagine them in forty years, chances are their style has changed. We see engagement rings as investments, the quality of the diamond and ring design should transcend trends.
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